The San Mateo County Transportation Authority's Wetland Mitigation Restoration Project has been selected to receive a Merit Award in the American Council of Engineering Companies California 2011 Engineering Excellence Award competition.
ACEC California is a 50-plus year old nonprofit association of private consulting engineering and land surveying firms.
The project, in cooperation with Caltrans, restores 7.85 acres of wetlands at the edge of the San Francisco Bay in Foster City. The wetland restoration work included construction of a 2,400-foot long tidal channel, installation of a 48-inch storm drain/tidal supply pipe and tide gate, extensive grading, irrigation and landscaping. The TA contributed $3 million toward the habitat with another $2 million coming from Caltrans.
Native salt marsh vegetation, including Pickleweed, has been planted to naturally colonize the marsh. In addition, the tides have brought in additional seeds that will germinate and grow, adding to the biological diversity.
The wetlands provide a habitat for a host of unique plants and animals adapted to life where the ocean meets the land, including animals found only in San Francisco Bay and threatened with extinction, including the endangered California Clapper Rail.
The wetlands project was created to alleviate impacts associated with the Route 101 Auxiliary Lane Project between Ralston Avenue in Belmont and Marsh Road in Redwood City.
Award recipients will be recognized at a banquet next February in Sacramento.